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Will the Plug-In Porsche Happen?

You might have to wait until 2015, but the good news is that Volkswagen AG, part owner of Porsche, will be unveiling a plug-in hybrid Panamera, which should see daylight about a year after the release of the electric VW Golf that is set to land in showrooms in late 2013. Volkswagen has been busy with electrification plans for several of its popular models, namely the Audi Q7, Passat (European), and Audi A3. Even with all the EV hubbub, the biggest splash from a marketing perspective is the debut of the plug-in Panamera.

Taking a page from the Chevy Volt, another popular plug-in hybrid, VW apparently decided to go the route of plug-in rather than non-plug-in. While the early Toyota Prius models were exceedingly popular, most industry analysts are now putting their bets on hybrids that come with cords and plugs, for the simple reason that consumers enjoy the choice of using electric drive for part, or all, of a given trip.

Studies have shown that European drivers not only log fewer miles than typical U.S. car owners, but also take shorter trips on average, thus the plug-in variety of hybrid is even more appropriate for the European market. Putting a plug on the Porsche, a higher priced car, seems counter-intuitive, but spokespersons for Volkswagen say that their own research shows Porsche buyers drive more miles and typically take longer journeys, thus an extended-range hybrid is the perfect match.
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